The Gratitude Project: Week Eighteen

When I created this particular blog, the meaning behind its name was as true then, as it is today. 

Like most mothers, I acknowledge my life is beautiful; yet, with children, animals, and outside demands, my life can also get a little hectic. It can get a little messy, with laundry piling up, dishes in the sink (or on the counter), toys strewn haphazardly around the floor, dog fur blowing like tumbleweeds, and spills I haven’t yet discovered, still waiting to be wiped clean.

Throughout the monotonous, day-in/day-out routine, it’s all too easy to simply see nothing but the mess. It can be difficult with spit up down your shoulder and back, coffee down your shirt, and dirty hands and faces reaching for your clothes, to see the beauty in the ordinary.

And yet, that is exactly what God sees – He sees the tired, stressed, dirty mama as a beautiful princess!

Although she often fees she is failing at her work, God sees the work she is doing, as absolutely beautiful and radiant!

Naturally, this firm belief of mine, along with the idea by my chaplain, led to the birth of this particular series – “The Gratitude Project.” In an effort to recognize the beauty amidst the mess, it was (and is) important to begin to recognize what I am most grateful for among the messiness of my life – and, among the ordinariness of my life.

This past week, I was diagnosed with an Upper Respiratory Infection, courtesy of my five year old carrier monkey and his PreK class. That, among other things, has led me to survival mode – doing the absolute bare minimum to ensure my children are alive. 

The mess is alive and well, let me assure you. The laundry piled up, the dishes didn’t get washed (or put away), and when I wasn’t running badly needed errands or trips to school or the doctor’s office, I was a lump on the couch while the television served as my trusty babysitter.

However, in the midst of the mess (and misery), one theme stood out this week. 

I am grateful for the little moments in my life.

These aren’t the moments that would perhaps stand out to anyone else. But, they are “heart moments,” where my heart feels as though it will burst – with pride, with happiness, with sweetness.

For example, watching my two little kids with my head in my hands, as they take turns shooting a bouncy ball through a basketball net. Then, seeing my son pick his sister up so she gets a chance to put the ball legitimately into the basket. Repeating this over and over again.

The way one person goes out of their way to ensure another individual is given proper credit or attention for a job well done.

The moment where you find yourself looking at your spouse, and find yourself studying the face (or profile), and truly seeing, the goodness and love in the man or woman you married.

Another parent in public, suffering through a loud, unrelenting tantrum by their toddler. And, the only thought you have is to offer them a smile of support as you also quickly say a prayer of thanksgiving that, “At least it isn’t my kid – today/this moment!”

An extra thirty minutes of sleep at the end of a long day. Or, the extra five minutes of quietness between when your children fall asleep, and you fall asleep.

Our lives are full of little moments:

Little moments of light.

Little moments of love.

Little moments of beauty.

Little moments are easy to miss if we aren’t willing to look for them. But, they are there!

Our challenge should be to recognize when those moments appear, and then be able to acknowledge them for what they are – a little bit of beauty among our mess!

What about you? What are you most grateful for this week?

Until next week, dear reader…

12 thoughts on “The Gratitude Project: Week Eighteen

  1. I’ve been noticing the little moments lately too! It really does help foster contentment and gratitude.

    I’m grateful this week for my 2 biggest boys becoming quite the little helpers! Sure does warm a momma’s heart to see them working together to help me around the house.

    1. Awww!! I love your gratitude moment for this week! Watching your kids grow like that is also a great affirmation for you – apparently you are doing some things right! 🤗🤗

      And, I agree completely – recognizing the little moments *does* foster contentment and gratitude!!

  2. I went in for surgery to have a wollen lymph node removed for biopsy yesterday…
    When they cut my arm they found two lipomas instead. They removed both and I still have all of my lymph nodes! Yay.
    I am still waiting for pathology results, but it is extremely unlikely that it is anything malignant.
    The incision is healing up well. Sealed, light bruising, and mild enough pain that ibuprofen does the job.
    So I am thankful for all of that.

    1. That was an absolute blessed ending to a very scary situation! I am so happy to hear that you got to keep your lymph nodes, and post-op is going smoothly.

      I will add you to prayers as you await pathology results!

  3. Also, my 2 1/2 year old now eats eggs and some veggies.

    She has started showing interest in our food the last 2 months, and is slowly moving to real (not junky) food.

  4. My sons are grown but how well I remember the days where survival was key…and being grateful for all those little things in life. So grateful for my spouse of nearly 37 years…He is truly a good man.

    1. I am glad to hear there will come a time where I will look back on these memories… if I remember them! 😂

      And, I love that you are grateful for your husband – 37 years is an amazing role model for all of us kids, looking to our parents’ marriages as models!

  5. “A *little* hectic” ??? A masterful understatement. 🙂

    Good thoughts.

    Thanks for another reminder to think ‘gratitude.’ I check in for each one. These are good exercises.

    Mine, this time, is no longer being in the ‘pick up illnesses the kids catch’ stage – and remembering those years – and the more recent visit from our granddaughter & entourage.

    1. I had to chuckle – I’m glad you appreciate not being caught in the “catch the illness of the carrier monkeys, I mean kids,” stage!! Someday, I hope to be in a similar stage – although I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel yet! 😂

      And, yay for seeing grandchildren, et al! I’m thrilled someone else enjoys these posts and exercises, too. Perhaps my chaplain was onto something! 🤗

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